Airport deal runs into trouble
Privatization of 14 regional aerodromes faces delays as Fraport seeks assurances from government
The Greek government has reacted to requests by Germany’s Fraport regarding further negotiations for the concession of 14 regional airports.
In a statement, the government said, “If the contracting company raises the issue of renegotiation, the renegotiations will not be limited to points the company raises but a complete renegotiation.”
It added: “The completion of the concession of 14 regional airports to the terms agreed with the previous government represents the conditions laid out at the July 12 summit. The government fully observed these terms.”
The announcement came after Fraport said that the agreement, worth 1.2 billion euros, represented “a basis for the resumption of negotiations” between the company and the Greek side. Fraport is seeking further reassurance based on the changes to Greece’s political and economic landscape.
The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) said yesterday that, “according to the tender conditions, there has been continuous contact with the joint venture Fraport AG - Slentel Ltd, which confirmed its interest in the completion of the deal.
“The decision by the Government Council for Economic Policy opens the road for the consolidation of the terms which will lead to the signing of the contract.”
According to TAIPED’s Asset De- velopment Plan (ADP), by July 31 there remained eight outstanding issues for the completion of the deal, including the submission by Fraport of all relevant appendices such as financial models and basic terms for design and construction. TAIPED expects most of the outstanding issues to be resolved by November. However, the ADP foresees a final deal by September. Given the current situation and delays, a deal by the first quarter of 2016 appears remote.
Speaking to Kathimerini, the regional governor for the Ionian Islands, Theodoros Galiatsatos, said: “This deal would seriously impact the economy of our region. The possible increase in landing fees will put off low-cost and charter flights and have negative effects on tourism in this region.” Galiatsatos, who was appointed with SYRIZA’s support, said he plans to continue his opposition to the privatization of the 14 regional airports.